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Nintendo Suffers $21M Patent Infringement Award 70

Posted by timothy
from the patent-rolling-your-eyes-derisively dept.
CowTipperGore writes "The AP reports (via Yahoo!) that Nintendo of America Inc. has been ordered to pay a small East Texas gaming company $21 million for infringing on a patent while designing controllers for its popular Wii and GameCube systems. No stranger to lawsuits over controller designs, a Nintendo spokesman said the company will seek an appeal. The suit was originally filed in 2006 and included Microsoft. Microsoft's aggressive legal push back apparently helped as they reached a (confidential) settlement agreement before the case went to trial."
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Nintendo Suffers $21M Patent Infringement Award

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  • by LordSkippy (140884) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @11:04AM (#23419004)
    The title is badly worded. The $21M award went to Anascape Ltd., the people suing Nintendo. So, Nintendo does suffer the award to another company. The wording of the title does make it sound like Nintendo is both the receiver and sufferer of the award.
  • Re:Patentability (Score:4, Informative)

    by hansamurai (907719) <hansamurai@gmail.com> on Thursday May 15, 2008 @11:14AM (#23419168) Homepage Journal
    Actually it doesn't seem to have anything to do with motion control.

    The jury found that Nintendo infringed on Anascape's patent while designing its Wii Classic, WaveBird and Gamecube controllers.

    Scibettra said Nintendo was pleased no infringement was found with the motion-sensing technology used in its wandlike Wii and Nuncheck controllers, which mimic movements by users in games such as tennis and boxing.
    None of those controllers have motion sensing in them.
  • by tepples (727027) <tepples AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday May 15, 2008 @11:35AM (#23419484) Homepage Journal

    A 3d controller with vibration - how can a patent office and a judge believe that qualifies as non-obvious and novel?
    Only the claims of a patent, not its title, have legal force. But I did read the list of patent titles from "suit was originally filed [joystiq.com]". Taking into account the aspects infringing products (Xbox controller, GameCube controller, and Wii Classic Controller) and the titles of the patents, I guess that the patents cover some aspect of the analog L and R shoulder buttons on those controllers. The claims of U.S. Patent 6,344,791 appear to cover specifically the tactile detent that the player feels when pressing the GCN controller's L and R buttons all the way.
  • by archammer2 (1041754) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @12:26PM (#23420516)
    After doing a 30-second search for "Anascape", the only thing I could find on them are the law suits. Though, to be fair, most every gaming news site is covering this one. Still, who are these people? Have they done anything besides file the patents and then smack down anyone that uses "their technology"? Side note: Something the summary doesn't mention. Anascape originally sued Sony over the Playstation controllers. Then, they went after Microsoft and Nintendo at the same time. They don't seem to have any problems with the wiimote yet. Just the classic controller and the Gamecube controller.
  • Re:Patentability (Score:5, Informative)

    by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:21PM (#23421704) Homepage Journal
    If you bothered to RTFA, you'd find out it wasn't the judge but a federal jury that found in favor of Anascape.

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